Page T2.3 . 03 December 2008                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
< Prev Page Next Page >



Wiki Design Studio - Part One


Develop the Studio Home Page

Let's take another look at the completed main page in the example studio. Underneath the studio summary information, there's a horizontal bar of links to a suite of sub-pages, organized to support a good cross-section of typical design studio documentation.

The "Design Studio Info" template we're using sets up these page links automatically, once we supply the page names we'd like to use for these sub-pages.

Click the "edit" tab on your main studio page to go backstage again. When the page reloads in editing mode, the text editing field should show the template fields again — just as it was at the end of the last edits — much like this:

Now, think about the other studio pages you'd like to link to from this main page link bar. Also, take a look at the supporting pages in the link bar in the example design studio wiki area.

The page set shown there is Gallery (student work posted along the way), Program (architectural program for the project building), Case Studies (a page that links in turn to precedent studies and other useful references), Site Info (including things like the overall site plan, 3D model if the studio makes one, Google map site image), Participants (student list, with links to their individual studio pages), Conversation (the wiki "talk" page for the studio, which can be used much like a newsgroup), and Course Nexus (schedule of meetings and assignments, etc.).

You can match the example, or follow any variations in page name and intent you prefer. Whatever you'd like this set of supporting pages to be, to implement it, just enter the page names into the template data fields (adding text to the right of each "=" sign) for the template lines studio_subpage_0=, studio_subpage_1=, studio_subpage_2=, etc.

The result of this typing will look something like this:

When you've entered the page names in the template fields as you like them, click the "Save Page" button, and the page will reload into normal viewing mode, looking much like this, showing the new horizontal bar of sub-page links:

Add a Course Description

To add more content to the main studio page, like a general course overview, click the "edit" tab again, scroll down the page if necessary to get into the text editing field below the closing curly bracket of the template data section, and enter the text you'd like to see, like this:

This is a good time to introduce a bit of "wiki text", which is what the simple formating language of the wiki system is called.

Section headings are very useful in making a long page legible to a variety of readers. This is especially true since reading on-screen tends to be fast and a little skippy. Help readers grasp the content of your pages by keeping sections and paragraphs within them short and to the point.

As a page gets more complex, you can improve accessibility even more by using a hierarchy of section headings. And when you do this with wiki text, the sections automatically show up as a table of contents at the the top of the page.

Add a Section Heading

It's really helpful, and pretty nifty, especially since it so simple to do.

To make a section heading in the wiki, put the heading text on a line by itself, with an equal number of equal signs before and after the heading text.

The more equal signs on each side, the lower the level of the heading in the document hierarchy, and generally the smaller its automatic formatting will be.

Two equal signs gives a nice display for main sections of a studio cornerstone page, entered like this:


One level of subheading would be entered like this:

===Emphasis on Sustainability===

You can follow the headings in the example design studio page, and of course, you can jump off from there, wherever you'd like.

You may be getting used to the editing rhythm at this point. Once you've entered the text you'd like, then click on the "Save Page" button to see how the page is coming along:

Terrific! you've now got a main page wiki cornerstone for the studio web area which is both informative and connected.

Now we can delve into the other pages that will start to build up this wiki-based studio web area.

Create a Supporting Page

Looking at the main studio page, in the normal viewing mode, click in the link bar on the page name that links to a page you want to create and work on.

The first time you go to the page, you'll be warned that it does not exist yet, and offered a chance to create it, if that's what you really want.

That is what you want here, so click the "create this page" link to start editing.

In this example, the supporting page or sub-page we're working on is the Program page:

In the course of building up the page, you'll probably want to go through the cycle a few of saving it, reviewing your progress, and then going back into editing again.

As you add text to the Program page, use the simple formatting for section headings to help arrange the text in the page. Separate each paragraph with an empty line, and create bullet lists by starting a new line with an asterisk "*".

Use double square brackets around just a page name for any links within the wiki, and single square brackets around a complete URL for any links going outside the wiki.

For reference, here's a completed version of a basic program page. You can always click on the "edit" tab to look inside that page, in editing mode, and see just how it was put together.

Eventually your program page will look something like this:

Congratulations — things are really moving along! You've now got a main studio page, and you've built up one of the supporting pages as well.

The essential process for creating and filling the other supporting pages follows the same pattern:

  • Go to the main studio page.
  • Click in the link bar on the link to the page you want to create and work on.
  • The first time you go to the page, click the "create this page" link to start editing. Otherwise, on an existing page, use the "edit" tab to start editing.
  • Enter the text for that page, including appropriate section headings.
  • Click the "Save Page" to store your edits, and view the updated page.

    Repeat as needed.

    In "Wiki Design Studio - Part Two", we'll go deeper into those supporting pages, and learn to use a few enriching wiki elements that can be useful there.

    In the meantime, feel free to explore and borrow freely from the example design studio wiki area, A Small Town Public Library for the Twenty First Century, live at Archiplanet — where we'll hope to see you soon!



    Click on images
    to view full-size pictures.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...


    < Prev Page Next Page > Send this to a friend       Subscribe       Contribute       Media Kit       Privacy       Comments
    ARCHWEEK  |  GREAT BUILDINGS  |  ARCHIPLANET  |  DISCUSSION  |  BOOKS  |  FREE 3D  |  SEARCH © 2008 Artifice, Inc. - All Rights Reserved